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#217 🥉80%  SOLD • €120k • historic • village • 500m² mini-hub • imposing village building at base of Cevennes with connections
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Besseges, southern France — near Ales, (Nimes)
☃️2–10–18°☀️10☁️10 • 🍂13–24°☀️10☁️10
GOOD  🔨 effort
GOOD  🚌 transport
GOOD  ✈️ access
GOOD  🛒 shops
OKAY  🏙 towns
GOOD  🧗 activities
GOOD  ☀️ climate
GOOD  ⛰️ nature
DODGY  🌷 garden
GREAT  🏠 building
OKAY  🏘 hood
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Environment ✧ hills amongst windy rocky river valleys, scrubland and woods; hikes on doorstep

Services ✧ supermarket, shops, bars/resto; nicer village 10mins drive/bus; town 35mins drive/45mins bus

Access ✧ station/bus 10mins walk; Nimes 1h15, airport +30mins shuttle; train ~5h Paris/Barcelona (2 changes)

Notes ✧ whilst expensive it is an exceptionally good deal for its very generous size and mostly ready to use state, except for changing the layout and adapting the ground floor
✦ offers a good mix of criteria, albeit lacking outdoor space but opposite a public space with benches that could be nicely guerilla gardened, and either at least one section could be opened up with the wall removed as a solarium, or a section of the roof removed for a 20m2 south-west terrace
✦ the village is unremarkable though moderately lively along its main street on the other side of the river; has some street art murals, tennis courts, indoor sports hall and in the summer is a short walk to a several riverside cafés
✦ there's a pile of old factory buildings, one now housing a bric-a-brac community repurposing space, and a micro-brewery(!)
✦ there's a quick bus/10min drive/30min bike to a much nicer village with several weekly markets (including organic), good cafes/retos, plus riding and kayak
✦ several hiking circuits are possible on the immediately adjoining hill climbing 450m; other hikes on the opposite side of the valley are 20mins along lanes; all trails are fire tracks and singletrack is rare; the GR44B passes the door and leads to an impressive chateau in 1h biking; the nearest moderate peak (1300m) is 30mins drive, however can reach a 1000m summit in 2h30 biking entirely offroad climbining gradually with downhill all the way back ;) similarly there's a 2h route to the small town with return by train or along the road; river spots and swimming closeby
✦ the Ardeche river and other other locations down the Ceze are 30mins (for Les Vans with good gorges and more kayakinging/riding) to 45mins (for the famous Pont d'Arc)
✦ otherwise the location is a bit limiting due to being in the foothills of the Cevennes with winding small roads to get anywhere else; there's better landscapes and a very nice town (Uzès) are 1h for occasional daytrips
✦ the main town (Alès) is not bad thanks to ongoing improvements (35 mins drive/45 bus) including a new market hall pending, and will be only 30mins in future with upgraded rail service (reopening 2026, 5-times daily); the lovely city of Nimes will be 1h from the door
✦ onward connections are good; Nimes airport is a train then shuttle with year round service to Stansted and Brussels, plus seasonal to Luton and Morocco; many more options including Lisbon from Montpellier and Marseille
a neighbouring and decrepit council housing block (north side) has been demolished, and the town purchased its land to 'restore', thus likely another public space making the property quite a stand out
✦ the building is freestanding with a 200m2+ footprint, though could be as little as 140m2 without stairs and divisions on each of 3 floors; the ground floor is distributed at several slightly different levels, with one end onto the road, and the south side onto open spaces with a mural
✦ top floor has excellent height for mezzanines with some view to south
✦ all windows have small/juliet balconies which makes placement of mezzanines difficult without blocking some, otherwise 10 excellent mezzanines plus bunks
✦ 20m long (north) 18.5m (south), 10m deep
✦ good winter sun and limited rain
private sale apparently possible (last ad)
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